What Microgreens Are, and Why They’re Good for You
5-Minute Crafts found out what kinds of microgreens there are and why they are good for you.
Microgreens are small versions of the plants we already know about. Young seedlings of vegetables and herbs are harvested right after the first leaves appear. Only the parts that are underground are eaten.
Most microgreens can be harvested only once and then the seeds need to be planted again. But there are 3 exceptions: peas, beans, and lentils are able to grow again if you harvest them above their bottom leaf.
The main advantage of microgreens is their wide spectrum of health benefits:
- A big source of vitamins and minerals
- Good nutritional value (better than adult plants)
- A big concentration of antioxidants
All microgreens are eaten fresh, which is why their health benefits remain intact. Because they are a good source of vitamins, microgreens have less fiber than adult plants, so they can be a good replacement.
Microgreens are very popular today, but they are not something new for chefs. They have been using these kinds of greens since the 1980s. They are added to salads and smoothies and are used for decorating meals.
Even though microgreens taste great, they are not only used in the food industry. Due to a high concentration of vitamins and nutrients, they are often used in the beauty industry to make oils and ingredients for other beauty products, such as creams and shampoos.
Alfalfa is used in salads and sandwiches. It’s easy to recognize thanks to its soft, nutty taste, which is a bit like peas. But its taste may vary depending on when it was harvested. It has a big concentration of vitamin K, C, and folic acid. It takes 8-11 days to grow.
The amaranth is a microgreen that doesn’t only look like beetroot in color, but it also tastes a bit like it. It has bright stems and darker red leaves with a green shine. In 8-10 days, you can harvest amaranth rich in vitamins K, C, and phytosterols.
Broccoli is one of the most nutritious and fast-growing kinds of microgreens. You can harvest broccoli after 6 days. The color of its leaves are shades of green, and the stems are pinkish. The taste is a little bitter. It contains a lot of vitamins A, В, С, and К, along with protein, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and zinc.
Arugula has a unique peppery flavor that becomes less intense as it matures. It’s often added to salads and side dishes. It’s rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, phenols, potassium, and calcium. It takes 7-10 days to grow.
Lentils are rich in fiber, protein, and vitamins A, B, C, and E. After being harvested for the first time (which usually happens in 1-1.5 weeks), it can grow again. It has a soft, bitter taste, a bit like peas.
Beet microgreens taste just as salty as its full-sized variant, but it’s a little sweeter and not as earthly. The colors of stems and leaves are bright red and red-green. It contains a lot of nutrients, including vitamins C, E, K, and beta-carotene. You can harvest it after 8-12 days.
The soft herbal taste of barley is definitely great for pets, cats, dogs, and rabbits. It’s also good for humans. The tall, bright-red stems that go lighter toward the roots take 7-9 days to grow. Barley is rich in protein, vitamin E, beta-carotene, fiber, and different minerals.